Fishing season is here, which means it’s time to take out the tackle box and gear up to hit the water soon. There are a few things you can do now to prepare to have your best fishing season ever, including review your existing equipment and checking out the new tools that could make all the difference in bringing home the catch of the day. We’ve asked our Sport Chalet experts for advice on how to get your gear ready, as well as the best equipment to purchase this spring.
Cast Out with Confidence
Even though you may have cleaned your gear at the end of last season, it’s a good idea to make sure your reels and rods are in good working order. Take apart your reels and make sure to clean out sand or dirt that may have accumulated during your last trip. When you reassemble your reel, make sure to lubricate gears, pawls and spindles.
You’ll also want to check your lines for knots and frays. Starting off with fresh line is the best way to avoid unseen wear and tear, it’s not a huge investment, and having your line snap with a great fish on the line is the last thing you want. Gather the unwanted or damaged line and make sure to dispose of it. We also recommend purchasing a rod sleeve to keep your gear intact and prevent weathering or sun damage.
In the market for a new setup? Shimano’s Socorro Offshore Spinning Reel is equipped with the high-performing features to keep you covered in all situations from inshore to offshore, surf to pier, and kayak to boat.
Lure in the Perfect Catch
Next, run your line through lure conditioner and check out your tackle bag to ensure you have the necessities including needle-nose pliers, a multi-tool, and bandages in case of cuts or injury. Once you inspect your hooks, determine if you’ll need to file them then do some research to learn which lures will work best for the type of fishing you’re hoping to do.
You will need to choose a lure based on weather and water conditions, the species of your fish, and obstacles in the water such as weeds and rocks. For instance, you can use crankbaits that are designed to be cast out and retrieved in order to trigger fish movement, or jigs that are normally retrieved in an up and down motion in areas that are filled with weeds. In early spring, or when cold front conditions clear the skies and cool the water to make fish lethargic, smaller lures are usually better choices than larger lures. In high-wind conditions, you may need to use a larger lure simply to have enough resistance on the end of the line to keep the wind from bowing it so that you can’t detect if fish are hitting the lure.
Protective Outerwear that Lasts
Predicting the weather isn’t an exact science, and having the appropriate outerwear can make or break a fishing trip. Make a checklist of everything you need for safety on the water in case you run into a bit of weather. Bring protective eyewear and a hat to block the UV rays from the sun even if you’re fishing on a somewhat cloudy day. You can also pick up a pair of water gloves for added sun protection that provide you with extra grip for your hands.
Perform a thorough inspection of your fishing boots by shining a light into them in a dark closet and look for streams of light that might show through. If you come across any holes, it may be the time to purchase new wading boots to keep the water out and your feet dry.
No Such Thing as “Too Much Equipment”
Finding the fish isn’t just about knowing your spots and getting lucky…having the right gear will give you a tremendous advantage in making the most of your day. Check out trolling motors that allow you to find the best places to cast out, or use a GPS like the Magellan eXplorist 310 Bundle Angler Edition, which provides information on shoreline and depths, successful locations, bio-makeup and more.